Reintroducing 1% Chocolate Milk in Schools

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  • May 4, 2018

Schools now have the option to offer low-fat (1%) chocolate milk in meal programs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow schools to offer 1% flavored milk through school lunches, breakfast and Smart Snacks for the 2018-2019 school year. The decision offers schools flexibility in meeting student’s taste and nutrition needs.   

A survey conducted by National Dairy Council with 317 schools in eight states that implemented 1% flavored milk in the 2017-2018 school year found that:

  • Students in 73% of the schools liked 1% flavored milk better
  • 58% of schools saw an increase in milk sold
  • 82% of schools reported that it was easy/very easy to accommodate 1% flavored milk within the calorie maximums for their menus
  • 79% of schools reported that it was easy/very easy to include the cost within their financial bottom line
  • Nearly a third of schools saw an increase in average daily participation in meal programs, and so received additional federal reimbursements.


Restoring 1% flavored milk in schools may help increase student milk consumption. Milk’s unique nutrient package can be difficult to replace, so options that encourage milk consumption could increase the chance that students will get their recommended daily servings of dairy to help close the gap on key nutrients needed for growth and development.